Justin Fields had his first 100-yard rushing game during the Bears’ 33-22 loss to the 49ers in Week 8. His performance included one of the most electric touchdown runs of the Sunday afternoon slate.
Fields took a snap on a fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter and turned it into a 22-yard score. The Bears’ quarterback showed excellent elusiveness and evaded numerous 49ers defenders en route to the end zone.
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The play wasn’t originally designed to be a run for Fields. He changed his approach once he saw what was happening in front of him.
“I mean, in that situation, you technically have to throw hot right there,” Fields told reporters after the game. “But there were too many guys in front of my face and Khalil [Herbert] was covered.”
So, Fields decided to take off. How did he make so many 49ers miss on his way to the end zone?
“It’s just all instincts right there,” Fields said of his run. “Just try and make the play on fourth-and-1 and just get the first down.”
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Fields’ run was as great as it was improbable. Next Gen Stats gave the play a 2.3 percent chance of being a touchdown after Fields made the decision to scramble.
Justin Fields (22-yd rush TD)
The probability Fields was expected to score a touchdown from the moment he broke the pocket to scramble?
🔸 TD Probability: 2.3% (+21 RYOE)
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 31, 2021
Fields didn’t take all the credit for the impressive run. He shared it with his offensive line and receivers, praising their blocking and commitment to the off-script play.
“It shows that you know they want to win,” Fields said of his teammates. “It’s just effort at that point. I mean, because that wasn’t planned that wasn’t part of the play, but that just shows you what kind of guys those are and that they’re not going to stop until the whistle blows.”
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The Bears weren’t able to win in spite of their effort on Fields’ touchdown, but it was arguably the rookie’s best performance as a starter yet. He completed 19 of 27 passes for 175 passes with a touchdown and an interception. He also added 103 yards and a TD on the ground with 10 scrambles.
Perhaps coach Matt Nagy, who missed this game after testing positive for COVID, will encourage Fields to use his legs more after watching this performance.